Celebrating a Fantastic Open Evening

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Our annual Open Evening held on Wednesday 27th September was a huge success with our school hall full to bursting with prospective pupils and their families. Dowdales Youth Theatre performed an extract from A Midsummer Night's Dream and student ambassadors took pupils and their families on tours of the school, visiting all departments and taking part in lots of exciting activities. We have received an abundance of positive feedback about our students, staff and the school itself, thank you to all who came to visit us and for your kind words and a special thank you to our fantastic students and staff team.

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The focus for our senior students over the last couple of weeks has been on the election of our Head Girl and Head Boy as well as the election of their deputies. It has given me great pleasure to appoint the six young adults whom I know will excel in their new role and work with myself and the staff to achieve the school’s priorities this year. They are a credit to the school. Well done, this is a fantastic achievement.

We welcomed the Alter Ego Theatre Company back to school this week to deliver their ‘Feel the Hate’ drama performance to our Year 7 cohort. Alter Ego are one of the UK’s leading Applied Theatre Companies using theatre and related media to illustrate the narrative, kick-start conversation and inspire change around complex social issues. ‘Feel the Hate’ is an innovative and powerful new play which was developed out of a growing need to raise awareness amongst young people around Hate Crime. The 30 minute long performance aimed to raise awareness of what hate crime is, the effect that hate crimes can have on individuals their family and friends and where to go for help and advice.

This week we have been welcoming Year 6 pupils and their families to school to tour all departments of the school as part of our Open Week. Tours have been taking place at 9.30am, 11.30am and 2.15pm. If you would like to book a place on a tour please call the school office on 01229 469800.

Six of our most able Scientists from Year 9 and Year 10 travelled to the West Lakes Academy, Egremont to take part in the Infinity Festival; a ground-breaking science programme for secondary schools. The main aim of the event was to inspire the next generation of Scientists and Engineers though motivating talks and exciting hands-on experiments and workshops from leading figures in the world of Science, Technology and Engineering. One of the highlights of the day for our students was hearing from Professor Brian Cox who gave a lecture on the Origins of the Universe. During the evening session parents and carers joined the group to take part in a special question and answer session with Professor Brian Cox. Students, parents, carers and staff thoroughly enjoyed the daytime and evening programmes which also featured information on employment opportunities, training options and career paths.

The Friends of Dowdales Sponsored Walk will take place on Sunday 15th October. The event is one of our biggest fundraisers in which students from all years partake in a 5 mile walk starting at the school at 9am, walking through Dalton to Furness Abbey and back. All students are encouraged to wear fancy dress. Parents, carers and friends of the school can also partake in the event so I look forward to seeing you all there.

Year 11 Geography students went on a field trip to Grasmere as part of their GCSE course, conducting an independent geographical enquiry for Unit 4: Investigating Geography. The groups were tasked with ‘investigating how and why tourism has had economic impacts within, and around, Grasmere in recent decades’. This field trip gave students a fantastic opportunity to investigate and experience Geography, taught in the classroom, in the local landscape of the Lake District National Park.

Last week we celebrated the European Day of Languages with lots of activities in our languages department and a special European theme day in the dining hall. During break time a French breakfast was served. Afternoon activities included German dancing, Ocktoberfest and two pop-up cinemas showing French and German films. It was fantastic to see students fully immersing themselves in the celebrations.

We held a successful seminar for our Year 7 parents and carers last week. Thank you for coming along to find out about how we can work more closely together to support your son or daughter’s progress and learning. If you were unable to attend the event all details can be found on our website. To view the information click here.

Please may I draw your attention to a few dates in the future. Preparations are underway for our annual Prizegiving ceremonies which take place on Thursday 19th October. Looking ahead to our festive events the languages department are hosting our annual European Christmas Market which will be held on Wednesday 29th November. If you would like to book a stall at the market please contact the school office on 01229 469800.

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